UPDATE: Arizona Department of Health Services reports second COVID-19 death in state

UPDATE: Arizona Department of Health Services reports second COVID-19 death in state
A man in his 50s with underlying health conditions became the first patient to die from the novel coronavirus in Arizona on Friday, March 20, 2020, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. (Source: WFIE)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) have confirmed the second death due to COVID-19 in Arizona just a few days after the first death.

The second individual was a male in his 70s with underlying health conditions. MCDPH is in the process of notifying close contacts of this person and will be asking them to monitor for symptoms.

The first death was an Arizona man who passed away Friday. The patient, a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, became the first person in the state to succumb to the disease.

Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed the man’s death March 20. He was one of the many cases residing in Maricopa County, according to a release from the department.

To date, there have been 152 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona. COVID-19 is a serious disease that can be fatal in anyone, especially our elderly population and people with underlying health conditions. ADHS expects to see more cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and there could be additional deaths. ADHS advises everyone to take precautions:

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. For people with mild illness, individuals are asked to stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. For people with more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, individuals are advised to seek healthcare.

ADHS activated its Health Emergency Operations Center on January 27th after the first case of travel-associated COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona. The Health Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate the State’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about the COVID-19 response in Arizona, go to the online website.

For up-to-date information on how the virus is impacting Arizona click here.

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